Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator LISA JACKSON, in a statement announcing the release of the EPA’s long-awaited rules on mercury and other air toxics. The regulations—which have been in the works for two decades—are the first to restrict emissions of mercury, a potent neurotoxin, from power plants. According to the EPA, the new rules—with which coal-fired power plants will have at least three years to comply—will prevent at least 11,000 premature deaths and 4,700 heart attacks a year, along with 130,000 childhood asthma symptoms and 6,300 fewer cases of acute bronchitis in children.
“By cutting emissions that are linked to developmental disorders and respiratory illnesses like asthma, these standards represent a major victory for clean air and public health– and especially for the health of our children. The Mercury and Air Toxics Standards will protect millions of families and children from harmful and costly air pollution and provide the American people with health benefits that far outweigh the costs of compliance.”